January 8, 2018
There is one pick today.
Take Georgia +4 spread against Alabama for 3% of the bankroll.
There are so many similarities between these two teams that it makes this National Title matchup a virtual coin-flip. Both teams employ a very similar style of play which focuses around establishing the run and playing hard-nosed, physical defense. It should really come as no surprise how similarly coached both of these teams are as Bulldog's head coach, Kirby Smart, is a former Nick Saban disciple and will be trying to buck a historical trend that has seen Saban’s former assistants go 0-11 against their mentor. The most recent game took place at the start of the season when Alabama defeated Jimbo Fisher and Florida State as he joined Derek Dooley, Jim McElwin, Will Muschamp and Mark Dantonio as those who have failed to take down Saban and the Crimson Tide.
We believe Smart is (arguably) in the best position of all off the aforementioned coaches as he spent nine seasons with Saban at Alabama and served as defensive coordinator from 2008-15. While Alabama's defense has been a staple of the college football world for the better part of a decade, Smart should have first-hand knowledge of what it takes to beat them as he was directly responsible for recruiting many of them, including All-Southeastern Conference safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, whom Smart had started as a true freshman. We believe his familiarity not only with Nick Saban's tendencies, but also of his players will give him an advantage in this contest.
While Alabama looked dominant in their matchup against Clemson last week, they have some issues on the offensive side of the ball that could get exploited by an extremely tough Georgia front seven. Alabama was fortunate that their defense was able to capitalize on some turnovers and put their offense in good position with a short field. Georgia also has a top defense in the country, especially against the run and that's going to force Hurts to make plays through the air. We know that Hurts is not the most accurate passer, but if the Bulldogs are able to limit the damage on the ground, it could force Hurts to stand in the pocket and potentially make some mistakes in the passing game.
Let's not forget that this game is also being played in Atlanta, which is just 75 miles from the Bulldogs campus. While this is technically a neutral-site game, it should feel like a home game for the Bulldogs. A big X-factor tonight, and as it has been all season long will be the play of freshman Jake Fromm. Fromm is a wildcard that could be the difference maker in this matchup if he continues his solid play under center. Fromm has already shown that he does not allow any moment to get too big for him and while he is still just a freshman, he has played like an experienced veteran this entire season. When you add up all of these somewhat small details, they all should amount to enough to give the Bulldogs a slight advantage.
At the end of the day, we believe either team is capable of winning this football game, however, we do expect it to be a competitive matchup throughout. Although we believe the Bulldogs will win this one outright, the points could prove to be valuable if this matchup ultimately comes down to the final possession.
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